(Reuters) – British WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, who failed a doping test in August, has been denied a licence by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission to face American Demetrius Andrade in Boston this month.
Saunders had tested positive for oxilofrine in a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association test (VADA). The stimulant is banned by VADA while it is prohibited only during competition by World Anti-Doping Agency and UK Anti-Doping.
British media reports said the 29-year-old Saunders could be stripped of the belt he won in 2015 if he fails to get a licence for his scheduled title defence on Oct. 20.
Saunders has denied any wrongdoing in the matter and said that the adverse analytical finding was the result of using a common decongestant nasal spray.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)